The following is a one and one interview with Kesrick Williams for the SVGCA Inc. website.
1. Kesrick, congrats on your selection to the senior regional team for the upcoming T20 series against Pakistan, how do you feel about your selection?
KW: First and foremost I want to thank God, cause without him nothing is possible. Words cannot explain how I feel about my selection, it is a tremendous feeling. Any young man in the Caribbean who is playing cricket would aspire to make the West Indies team, so I am greatly appreciative.
2. Where were you when you got the news of your selection, were you surprised by the call?
KW: I was in the nets at the University of West Indies, Cave Hill with Chadwick (Walton) and Rovman (Powell), when I got the call from the Chairman of Selectors, Mr. Courtney Browne. Immediately I was super excited, similar to a childish feeling when your mom would buy you something as a kid. However, I tried to keep my composure, and remained humble and calm. It was a surprise because of the fact that the team had been already selected to go to Dubai, so wasn’t expecting the call to replace someone. Nonetheless, I am just grateful and hungry to grab the opportunity.
3. It would appear that your selection was prompted by a very good CPL, tell us about your experience in that tournament for the Talawahs.
KW: CPL, CPL. It was a great to be around the likes of (Kumar) Sangakkara, (Chris) Gayle, (Andre) Russell, Shakib al Hassan. It was a real pleasure. Being around these guys, your confidence boost because they don’t treat you like you are at any other level from them, plus they share their wealth of knowledge. It was a pleasure playing with them and doing well. Also, it was particularly tremendous playing with Chris Gayle, who allows you to play and execute your game. It just gave a certain level of confidence, which was great, just great.
4. What would you take out of that tournament into this new international venture with the West Indies team?
KW: One thing I will take out the tournament is being confident and believing in myself, that’s what took me through CPL, as well as not being starstruck despite playing against some established international players. At the end of the day, I go by the motto that the batsman has a job to do, and I have my job to do, and believing that once I execute, most times I would come out successful. I would obviously still bowl my variations and build on the experience of CPL. But the main thing really is believing in myself and having that confidence.
5. Kesrick, can take us back a bit about how you got involved in cricket?
KW: I got involved in cricket at age 10/11 when I played the North Leeward Under 15 cricket tournament (in St. Vincent and the Grenadines). Most people won’t know that the first person who introduced me to cricket and taught me how to bowl was my uncle, Delroy Sam. At Under 15, I was an off spinner, and developed into an alrounder, then a batsman. A lot of changes over the years, but I have no regret ending up a fast bowler now. It is a lot of hard work, but I love it, it is certainly fun.
6. You have been around for a few years, mainly for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Combined Colleges and Campuses, can you shed some light on your cricket development?
KW: I would say the better part of my cricket development came when I went to CCC. The facility there is very conducive to training, and I would have benefited from that facility where I could have trained really hard at anytime. At home in St. Vincent, I would have developed to an extent, but there are limitations in terms of the infrastructure. However, as a cricketer, I believe that infrastructure shouldn’t stop training and development, and if you really want something you still have to work hard despite the limitations.
7. Who is your role model, and do you have a mentor?
My role model is Dale Steyn and Brett Lee. There was a time I was trying to bowl like Brett Lee. Playing with Dale Steyn in the CPL was amazing, being able to exchange knowledge with him was a great feeling.
8. St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is known for producing some very good fast bowlers who have played for West Indies; Winston Davis, Ian Allen, Nixon Mclean, Cameron Cuffy, Deighton Butler, and most recently Kenroy Peters; how do you feel following in the footsteps of these gentlemen to represent SVG on the international stage?
KW: It’s great, they leave big boots to fill, these are guys who I look up to. These guys were established players in Windwards for their swing and pace. I would certainly like to top their performances at the international level, but I would have to put in the hard work, cause these guys were exceptional players.
9. This is surely a massive step for you in your career, where do you see yourself going from here?
KW: From here, it is all about consistency. Hoping to play around the world, maybe in some professional leagues. Certainly, would be representing St. Vincent and the Grenadines and my home town Spring, Ajuba. That is basically it, being consistent in my performances so that I can be a stable fixture in West Indies cricket.
10. Anyone you would like to credit or thank at this early stage for your cricketing development?
KW: A lot of names to be called so I know I won’t be able to name everyone. Big shout up to Denis Byam, before CPL I had a back injury, and without him taking care of me, I won’t have been ready to bowl in CPL this year, so massive thanks to Denis, he did a fantastic job to get me ready. Also, have to thank Ian Allen, the Windward Islands team head coach, who took me after my recovery and told me he would get me ready to bowl again, and he did help me to get back to playing fitness following my injury and gave me that confidence to bowl fast again. As a youth, I must thank Abuja from my hometown Spring Village; Conrad Ryan, who at the youth level was behind me to play cricket. Bootie, Mr. Samuel, who taught me in secondary school, him and Mr. Charles were really a great push in Secondary school. And of course, my mom and dad, who were always behind me, I love them to pieces. Three months before CPL, my friend Michael Joseph, who was in the army took me under his wings to get me up to the required fitness level, so now he is my fitness trainer, so big shout out to him. Everybody in Spring where I am from, thank you dearly for the support.